How to Build a Sales Team
Therefore, it is essential to compose a sales team, which will not only perform its basic functions and follow the orders but will be also a driving force of your business activities.
The following advice is aimed to ease and improve the process of building a sales team for your purposes. This advice will be in use if you need to build a sales team, which can deal with more leads entering the pipeline, which can increase the volume of sales when necessary, and which can develop in a cost-effective way according to sales performance.
Set up sales management process
Plan the sales
Plan your sales management strategies
Actually, the strategy has to answer three core questions:
—Whom to sell?
— What to sell?
— How to sell?
Put another way, the sales strategy is the customer segments, which are the targets of a company, its structure of sales force, its value propositions, and its related selling processes. Unfortunately, many sales managers have no understanding of specific opportunities and do not comply with the core strategy. If you have no defined growth opportunities, it is much more difficult to plan a winning sales strategy. For your attention, some essential sales management tips for productive sales management strategies are introduced:
1. Recognize and adapt the approach complying with the needs of your reps.
2. Commit spending time with your sales reps on a regular basis.
3. Make a workable plan, in order to provide a successful sales process. This includes the following activities: hiring, the creation of defined steps, collection, and analysis of data.
4. Provide coaching throughout the entire sales process.
5. Analyze the key performance indicators, which will reveal the benefits and flaws of your sales management process.
Hire the salespeople
Pick the types of salespeople
Here are some options:
The terms “manufacturer's rep, broker or agent” are used to describe independent sales reps, working on commission. They do not obtain a salary, but a percentage of their sales. It is a cost-effective alternative to a direct sales team for many large companies. The reps’ income depends on the volume of sales, therefore they know well their markets, make regular calls to leads and develop working relationships, in order to increase their profit.
Using reps is a good option with many benefits, including saving large fixed expenses, knowledge of local markets and access to large accounts. The disadvantage of using reps is that they usually work with various products, which can be competitive to yours. A typical rate of manufacturer's rep is 5 percent commission on sales, however, the rate may alter by virtue of the product type, market and volume of sales.Telemarketers
Telemarketers are the sales people contacting the customers by phone. Customer service, answering the questions and other activities are performed by phone too. The major advantage of telemarketers is a collection of qualified leads. The results of telemarketing effort are easy to track by phone numbers. A telemarketing operation can be built in-house or you can use a third-party call center services. There is no need to choose only one type of salespeople. Many companies effectively dispose of a combination of different sales forces, including telemarketers and sales reps.
It is always difficult to shift responsibility to someone else, especially if it is an important management job. However, the sales manager is an essential part of the growth of your business. Thus, be prepared to hand over customers and delegate accounts to a sales manager, which has to lessen the load of your tasks. Hiring a sales manager will bring benefits to you, namely, you will decrease the number of your sales calls and will be able to handle other parts of the job, such as developing the company's strategy.
What are the main attributes of a good sales manager? The key tasks of a successful sales manager have included the managing a sales team, development of sales strategies and plans, setting targets for the sales team, monitor sales performance, personal contact with key customers, preparation of sales and other reports, and other specific functions.
Ideally, you need a sales manager with experience in selling and management. Computer or other technical skills, communication skills and proven record of sales growth are the necessary requirements to sales managers for a successful work.
Start with hiring right sales people
You should not consider salespeople as the ones responsible for your bottom line development. They have a more important function by providing a daily contact with the customers. Salespeople are interlinked to build a successful sales team.
Describe job details
Pay attention to the fact that one of the main reasons of salespeople turnover and discontent is the misinterpretation of compensation plan of your company. Make sure that you properly and clearly explained the compensation process for all your potential members of a sales team. Besides, introduce the detailed information about your expectation of performance, trainings, and sales tools, which will be provided. The candidates should be aware of the market and the competition to deal with. Clear understanding of the company’s sales concepts and objectives is the prerequisite of future success.
Set your needs for a candidate
Find the right salespeople
- Make a search inside the company. Sometimes, the true pickups work in the wrong positions, and people working in various departments (technical, administrative, operations, support, etc.) may bring success in sales. Post the advertisement inside the company and who knows?
- Ask your employees for suggestions. Your existing employees may know someone, who would be glad to join your team. It is quite a widespread practice of recruitment in the world.
- Contact your colleagues, suppliers, advisors, social contacts and customers. It is a fast way to find candidates.
- Address to professional associations, which may have offer candidates for your sales team.
- Online advertising is also a good searching tool. Currently, the web provides numerous online job portals, filled with candidates.
- Another interesting option is to hire a graduate with a good perspective to develop a prominent sales person. Contact your local college to search for candidates.
- The most simplified option is the headhunter's services. Their business is searching for the required candidates. However, if a labor market is tight, it may be worth the cost to find a salesperson.
Do sales reporting
Measure sales productivity
Get rid of the ballast
Avoid desperate people for your sales team, it won’t be good. You may find someone with great papers and referrals. In time, he or she begin to act weird, claiming on some challenges or testing terms. And if a person talks about promotion a month or so after its employment, you should think twice whether you need this specialist. It is meritoriously when a person has the anxiety to work, and it is harmful if such anxiety refers to have a job position. Such person has to leave. It is recommended not to delay what is inevitable. If you know it, just do it and make it as fast as possible to prevent negative sequences with your customers, employees or partners. You make thousands of decisions to improve your business and firing someone is one of them. It is not about some personal issues and emotional effects, but about the efficiency of work. And if this efficiency tends to null, you have to say thank you and goodbye. Looking at another side, firing will have some benefits, including the free up of budget and opportunity to engage new specialists. Fire fast and save your time.
Set the sales manager’s goals
Define types of goals
Activity goals relate to the business activities of the manager, such as working with each salesperson within a day per month, a phone call to each sales rep once a week, conducting a planning meeting, developing a personal link with salespeople and others. The characteristic of these goals is that it is not measured by results. Actually, there are the results of activity goals, but nothing except for the manager can measure them. The activity goals are necessary to spend energy of a sales manager in different ways. They bring benefits to the growth of the sales manager’s productivity, keeping him or her focused on the objectives, which bring results. Personal development goals
The second type of goals is associated with personal development. These goals are aimed at becoming better and development of some personal skills. They include various improvement of skills such as an acquisition of competencies, addition of knowledge, participation in training or learning activities.
- Job-related skills improvement. A sales manager may decide to improve a skill of coaching a sales team. This skill requires practice and time, and the result will have a direct impact on the sales manager’s job.
- Acquisition of collateral abilities. These skills determine the value of sales manager to the company. They all relate to the improvement of some current job skills, for example, the development of sales management strategies. It does not mean that a manager often uses this skill, but he has a competency, which increases his or her value to the company.
- New knowledge. This point does not require an additional explanation – it is about learning new things and information. There is a difference between knowledge and skill. Knowledge involves some information, e.g., some market segment or a certain product. You acquire new information when improving knowledge. Improvement of skills requires some actions from a person, such as management ability. The successful sales manager needs both to become more valuable and competent.
- Learning activities. Sometimes, a sales manager can perform self-development by executing learning activities. There are many seminars and workshops, which make a person confident in their usefulness.
Use the sales management tools
Some of the tools are specific to one or several activities, therefore it is important to consider the volume of your operations.
There are tools, which can centralize the processes of your company in a cloud, enabling access to the data from any point anytime.
The other ones are designed to improve your communication activities by integration with your inbox and/or calendar. A separate niche is occupied by the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools, which combine several functions for your better work with the customers. All your emails, tasks, calls, schedules become a single system, which works like a Swiss watch. You save much time and, therefore, money, and receive an increased efficiency of your efforts.
In the modern time of business, the sales management tools are an integral part of any sales person activities.
Hopefully, now you will know how to build a successful sales team and how to manage a sales team in the most efficient way. Follow the advice above and improve your sales business activities.